Laval Nugent von Westmeath

Laval Graf Nugent von Westmeath (3 November 1777 – 21 August 1862) was a soldier of Irish birth, who fought in the armies of Austria and the Two Sicilies.


Laval Nugent von Westmeath
Laval Graf Nugent von Westmeath
Born(1777-11-07)7 November 1777
Ballynacor, County Westmeath,[1] Ireland
Died21 August 1862(1862-08-21) (aged 84)
Karlovac, Austrian Empire
Allegiance Austrian Empire
 Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
Years of service1793-1862
RankField Marshal
WarsNapoleonic Wars Carbonari Rebellion
First Italian War of Independence
Hungarian Revolution of 1848



Born at Ballinacor House, Ireland, Nugent was the son of Count Michael Anton Nugent von Westmeath, Governor of Prague.[2]

In 1793, he joined the Austrian Army, becoming Colonel in 1807, and Chief of Staff of the Army Corps of Archduke Johann of Austria in 1809. In 1813, he led the campaign against Viceroy Eugène de Beauharnais, separating French units in Dalmatia and simultaneously joining the British fleet, thus conquering Croatia, Istria and the Po valley. In 1815, during the Neapolitan War, he commanded the right wing of the Austrian Army in Italy, liberated Rome, and defeated Joachim Murat at the Battle of Ceprano and the Battle of San Germano.[citation needed]

In 1816, Nugent was given the title of prince by Pope Pius VII. In 1817, he entered the service of King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies. He married Countess Giovannina Riario-Sforza who owned property in the small town of Montepeloso (Irsina), in Basilicata. After the outbreak of the Carbonari rebellion in 1820, he returned to serve in the Austrian Army.[3] In 1848, he led an Army Corps under Joseph Radetzky von Radetz against the Piedmontese, in the course of the First Italian War of Independence, and also against the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. He received the title of Field Marshal in 1849.[citation needed]

In recognition of his achievements, he was created in addition to a Roman Prince (above), an Austrian Imperial Count and a Knight of the Golden Fleece. Later, in 1860, he was appointed titular Prior of Ireland of the Sovereign Military Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes of Malta.[4]

Nugent died on 22 August 1862 in the Bosiljevo Castle, near Karlovac, and his body was later transferred to a sarcophagus in the Doric temple "Peace for the Hero", in Trsat above Rijeka, next to the sarcophagus of his wife.[3]

An exhibition of his life in terms of his art collecting as well as his military career was curated at the University of Galway in 2019.[5]

See also



  • Laval, Graf Nugent von Westmeath. In Meyers Konversations-Lexikon. 5. Auflage, 1896.
  • Nugent, Laval Graf von. In ADB. Band 24. Duncker & Humblodt, Leipzig 1875-1912. Online: [1]
  • Nugent-Westmeath, Laval Graf. In Constantin von Wurzbach, Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich. 20. Band. Wien 1869. Online: [2]


  1. ^ "The Westmeath emigrant who found himself at the heart of the Napoleonic wars". The Irish Times.
  2. ^ J., Hounslow, E. (2016). Nelson's Right Hand Man: the Life and Times of Vice Admiral Sir Thomas Fremantle. The History Press. ISBN 978-0-7509-6946-8. OCLC 968722045.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ a b Igor Žic, Zbirka starih majstora Pomorskog i povijesnog muzeja Hrvatskog primorja u Rijeci, pg. 126, Centar drustvenih djelatnosti mladih (1993), ISBN 953-6149-00-1
  4. ^ "Order of Malta Charity Ireland | History". 26 October 2018.
  5. ^ "International exhibition on Count Laval Nugent, warrior and art collector". University of Galway. Retrieved 19 June 2024.